Egg-actly my Point – Judge Throws out Egg Lawsuit

Commerce ClauseI wrote about a lawsuit being spearheaded in my own beloved state of Missouri back in February that involved the regulation of chicken eggs in California.

The basic premise of the lawsuit is because California is such a huge economy; rules they pass for their state effect other states. I wrote at the time that while this is certainly true it in no way forced the egg production facilities in Missouri to change their coops. It simply means that if the people in Missouri, who sell approximately 1.7 billion eggs to California each year, want to enjoy the profit provided by productive people from the Golden State they need to change their practices. They are perfectly free to continue to keep chickens in conditions that can only be described as horrific but they won’t be able to sell eggs from such chickens in California.

The people of California spoke. California is the wealthiest and most populated state in the union. When voters from that state make a decision it carries more impact than when the voters of Missouri decide something. Just as laws in Texas can effect the rest of the nation. This is the nature of our Representative Republic.

I’m pleased to say that a federal judge completely agrees with my interpretation of events. The case has been tossed. U.S District Justice Kimberly Mueller writes that the states lacked legal standing to sue because they failed to show that the California law does genuine harm to their citizenry instead of just possible future damage to some egg producers.

It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers,” Mueller wrote in the decision, “not on behalf of each state’s population generally.

It is quite clear, Justice Mueller. Thank you. And just in case Missouri and the other states want to keep filing and filing; she also ruled they can’t refile or amend the existing case. They can appeal but it appears they have little chance. Not that I would put it past the legislatures in my home state to keep the appeals process going for as long as possible simply to delay the expenditure necessary to improve the coops (estimated at $120 million).

It’s nice to know someone agrees with me now and again. Happy dance ensues.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Edge
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